Course Overview

The aims of the Master of Science in Nursing (Advanced Nursing Practice) programme are toenable experienced registered nurses to develop an expert knowledge base, complex decision-making skills, and clinical competencies for an expanded autonomous scope of practice the characteristics of which are shaped by the: context in which the individual practices; the needs of patients/clients; and the challenges and developments within the health services.

The programme is designed to prepare the students as autonomous practitioners, who are clinically competent and skilled in the delivery of high quality direct care to a specific patient /client group. In particular, the Advanced Nurse Practitioner will be empowered to promote wellness, offer healthcare interventions and advocate healthy lifestyle choices for patients/clients, their families and carers in a wide variety of settings in collaboration with other healthcare professionals, according to agreed scope of practice guidelines.  

The programme further aims to support the students to develop their role as autonomous members of the multidisciplinary healthcare team within the healthcare organisation and professional leaders in their field of specialist practice. The graduates, equipped with such knowledge and advanced skills will be eligible to apply to the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI) for registration as a Registered Advanced Nurse Practitioner (RANP).

Applications and Selections

Applications are made online via the NUI Galway Postgraduate Applications System

Who Teaches this Course

See full staff list here.

Requirements and Assessment

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

  • Applicants must have a minimum of an honours primary degree in Nursing or equivalent, and hold a current active registration on the professional register maintained by NMBI.
  • Applicants must provide evidence of support from an employer and completed Site Declaration Forms, signed by the Director of Nursing/Public Health/Nurse Manager containing confirmation of a clinical supervisor who will provide supervision, support and learning opportunities, including opportunities to practice under supervision to gain the required competencies and clinical competence.
  • Applicants must comply with current minimum entry requirements for admission to the programme of education for nurse/midwife prescribing, and must have three years’ recent post-registration clinical experience in nursing/midwifery (this must be within the past five years) with the equivalent of ‘one year’ full time experience in the specific area of clinical practice.
  • Applicants must provide nomination and confirmation of a clinical supervisor who will provide the student with supervision, support and opportunities including shadowing opportunities to gain the required competencies for nurse prescribing in his/her practice area/organisation. 

Additional Requirements


2 years, part-time

Next start date

September 2019

A Level Grades ()

Average intake


Closing Date

To be advised.

NFQ level

Mode of study


ECTS weighting




Course code


Course Outline


Curriculum Information

Curriculum information relates to the current academic year (in most cases).
Course and module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Glossary of Terms

You must earn a defined number of credits (aka ECTS) to complete each year of your course. You do this by taking all of its required modules as well as the correct number of optional modules to obtain that year's total number of credits.
An examinable portion of a subject or course, for which you attend lectures and/or tutorials and carry out assignments. E.g. Algebra and Calculus could be modules within the subject Mathematics. Each module has a unique module code eg. MA140.
A module you may choose to study.
A module that you must study if you choose this course (or subject).
Most courses have 2 semesters (aka terms) per year.

Year 1 (40 Credits)

Required NU6508: Decision Making, Nursing and Advanced Practice Professional Roles

Semester 1 | Credits: 10

Content covered will include case management; clinical decision-making; standards of care; ethics; cultural competence; person centred care. Advanced Practice role development; professional issues; theoretical perspectives informing advanced practice roles; and self-management (time and stress management). Contemporary issues in health care; the future of health service delivery. Opportunities will be provided to explore issues related to case management, major pathophysiologic disease processes as applied to clinical decision-making, and standards of care, ethics and role development. Research related to these topics will be used to highlight the changing nature of heath care. Analysis of the role of the advanced nurse practitioner will be emphasised. Within the clinical environment, candidates will expand clinical decision-making abilities and practice advanced, complex, case management under the supervision of a designated clinical supervisor. The theoretical component of this module is applied in clinical practice.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Design case management algorithms combining quality assurance standards, evidence based practice, and clinical guidelines to support decision analysis.
  2. Integrate advanced pathology and pathophysiology in diagnostic reasoning and case management.
  3. Apply advanced health assessment and communication techniques in decision-making processes.
  4. Evaluate external stimuli that determine direction of the advanced nurse practitioner role in the delivery of quality patient care.
  5. Explore the use of an evidence-based evaluation framework in the context of the advanced nurse practitioner role.
  6. Appraise the professional role of the advanced nurse practitioner combining a nursing framework with standards of practice.
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
The above information outlines module NU6508: "Decision Making, Nursing and Advanced Practice Professional Roles" and is valid from 2018 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required NU6507: Leadership, Quality Improvement and Governance

Semester 1 | Credits: 10

Overview of health care system and structure, developments and funding; analysis of health policies, structures and governance systems, and their implications for practice. Overview of the policy process. Strategies for planning service provision, implementing changes in practice, quality improvement. The role of evidence based practice, accreditation, regulation in quality improvement and patient safety. Clinical and professional development issues; leadership and management frameworks, which focus on the development of the Advanced Practice role nationally and internationally. Collaboration, communication, working in groups and team building in health care, and issues influencing the reality of working in an advanced practice role. The module introduces and further develops the knowledge, skills and attitudes of healthcare professionals in the context of clinical governance with specific emphases on leadership theory and skills, inter-organisational partnership principles and frameworks, the concepts of participation and principles of collaboration, team building and understanding individual and organisational change and how to implement change successfully. Students explore motivational models, performance appraisal systems and approaches to managing conflict.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Critically evaluate current developments in the Irish health case with a focus on Advanced Nurse Practice (ANP)
  2. Analyse the impact of international and national policy and policy formation on health service current and future provision
  3. Analyse and critically compare frameworks for partnership, quality and governance in different health care contexts including role change and collaborative practice
  4. Critically compare and contrast different leadership and management theories and apply these to practice settings.
  5. Evaluate quality improvement models and strategies and their application to effective management and quality improvement at individual and organisational levels
  6. Critically appraise the implementation and evaluation of different approaches, which enhance the professional development of one-self and others in nursing practice.
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
The above information outlines module NU6507: "Leadership, Quality Improvement and Governance" and is valid from 2018 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required NU6504: Advanced Research Methods for Healthcare Professionals

Semester 2 | Credits: 10

Advanced information literacy strategies, academic writing, systematic research appraisal and synthesis, the role of theory and knowledge (epistemology) in research and enquiry, research design and methodological approaches, processes involved in research h protocol development, data collection, data analysis and interpretation, ethical principles in healthcare research. The content relating to information literacy processes and resources, research designs and methods, ethical considerations for the development of a research proposal relevant to an area of practice or defined healthcare problem.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Distinguish the philosophical underpinnings and theoretical frameworks/perspectives of healthcare enquiry and analyse how these influence the subsequent conduct of research and enquiry
  2. Critically review, analyse and synthesise pertinent literature, including interpretation of findings
  3. Formulate appropriate research/review questions or hypotheses relating to a defined healthcare problem
  4. Explore a variety of enquiry methodologies, data analytical processes and procedures so as to address identified research question(s)
  5. Justify the choice of a research design that addresses the identified research question(s)
  6. Become familiar with the relevant institutional ethics committee guidelines and outline the ethical principles that will underlie the proposed research study.
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
The above information outlines module NU6504: "Advanced Research Methods for Healthcare Professionals" and is valid from 2018 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required NU631.II: Physical Assessment Skills

Semester 2 | Credits: 10

This module aims to provide students with the necessary knowledge and skills to obtain a comprehensive health history and complete a physical assessment on a patient in the clinical setting. This module will include clinical laboratory experience whereby students will have an opportunity to build on their existing knowledge and develop skills pertinent to physical assessment. Case presentation, the ability to prioritise patient’s problems, and plan intervention(s) will be a focus of this module.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Demonstrate the ability to review a patient’s health history
  2. Demonstrate clinical competence in physical assessment skills
  3. Critically analyse patient data and prioritise patient problems
  4. Explicate nursing interventions that meet the individual patient’s needs
  5. Integrate appropriate consultation skills with the patient and the multidisciplinary team for effective case management.
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
The above information outlines module NU631.II: "Physical Assessment Skills" and is valid from 2018 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Year 2 (70 Credits)

Required NU011.I: Drugs, Patients and Illness

Semester 1 | Credits: 10

The increasing pace of change and complexity in clinical pharmacology has shaped the design of this module. The focus is on teaching principles to ensure students have the capacity to remain current and are capable of updating themselves on new drugs and methods of administration change. The goal is to teach for life-long learning. Therefore, the module has been carefully designed in stages (see Stages 1- 5) which build on one another with the aim of ensuring that students have a thorough understanding of and in-depth knowledge of the principles of drug action, and how these can be applied to the treatment of a number of commonly encountered diseases and conditions. These themes will be developed with particular relevance to the student’s work setting. Unit 4 addresses principles of prescribing in day-to-day practice.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Possess a firm understanding of the fundamental concepts of Pharmacology.
  2. Be able to use the autonomic nervous system to illustrate the mechanisms of drug action.
  3. Identify the composite features of the “pharmacology” of a drug, and apply these in their work setting.
  4. Be able to describe the pharmacological approach to a range of diseases and conditions.
  5. Be aware of the issues surrounding the pharmacological treatment of individual patients and their illness.
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
The above information outlines module NU011.I: "Drugs, Patients and Illness" and is valid from 2018 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required NU010.I: Professional, Ethical & Legal Issues of Nurse and Midwife Prescribing)

Semester 1 | Credits: 10

The Certificate in Nursing (Nurse/Midwife Prescribing), Minor Award, is at Level 8 on the National Framework of Qualifications. This six month programme is aimed at nurses and midwives working in the public, voluntary or private sectors. The programme aims to prepare nurses to prescribe safely, appropriately, cost effectively, legally and ethically. To increase programme accessibility, the programme will be delivered using blended learning. Blended learning will combine face-to-face teaching and facilitated on-line learning.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Understand and comply with the regulatory framework associated with medicinal product prescribing.
  2. Use evidence based knowledge to support their prescribing practice.
  3. Apply ethical principles and concepts in their prescribing practice.
  4. Analyse and form judgements on how to respond to ethical issues that may arise in practice.
  5. Undertake effective consultation with clients including appropriate history taking and assessment to inform diagnosis and prescribing practice.
  6. Demonstrate a client centred approach in their practice, emphasising personal choice and responsibility in line with best practice.
  7. Analyse and respond effectively to the factors that influence clients’ decision-making in respect to treatment regimes.
  8. Establish a support network, for example pharmacists, consultants or others, to support their prescribing practice.
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
The above information outlines module NU010.I: "Professional, Ethical & Legal Issues of Nurse and Midwife Prescribing)" and is valid from 2018 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required NU6506: Clinical Practicum

Semester 1 and Semester 2 | Credits: 20

Knowledge, competencies and clinical skills for advanced practice in nursing relevant to the specific practice area of the student. Specific knowledge and skills requirements will be negotiated on an individual practice area basis with the student their clinical supervisor and their employer/nurse manager within the framework and structure of the course record and assessment booklet. The major element of the programme will be substantial hours on clinical placement with supervision (as agreed under the site declaration form).Students practice hours focus on developing expertise in defined areas/pathways for example: 1) Chronic disease management 2) Oncology 3) Older person care 4) Unscheduled care 5) Women's health 6) Mental health 7) Intellectual disability 8) Primary healthcare 9) Acute healthcare 10) Children's services 11) Dermatology.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Integrate relevant knowledge and skills in the conduction of a comprehensive holistic assessment of patients/clients, and manage identified issues/needs at an advanced level within their practice area (or identified scope of practice).
  2. Use evidence based frameworks, to synthesise and interpret assessment information to identify normal, subnormal and at risk states of health.
  3. Determine the timely use of diagnostic investigations to inform clinical decision making when planning, delivering and evaluating person centred care
  4. Actively consider access, cost, clinical effectiveness when planning, delivering and evaluating care.
  5. Apply knowledge of therapeutic interventions including pharmacological and non-pharmacological nursing interventions relevant to their advanced practice area
  6. Critically reflect on their own and others' learning and practice.
  7. Maximise opportunities to educate, mentor, role model and facilitate clinical supervision, on-going reflection, and engagement in continuous professional development.
  8. Incorporate effective leadership and communication skills when interacting with interprofessional health care teams in the development, implementation and evaluation of care and services in their area of practice.
  9. Evaluate the provision of care and services pertaining to their area of practice and reflect on feedback received to identify gaps in provision of care and services pertaining to area of practice
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
The above information outlines module NU6506: "Clinical Practicum " and is valid from 2018 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required NU6505: Dissertation

Semester 1 and Semester 2 | Credits: 30

Through the conduct of an empirical study or systematic review or a practice innovation project, this pathway will facilitate the development of analytical and critical thinking skills and skills related to project management and enhance the student's understanding of their chosen topic area. Students undertaking the module are supported in developing their dissertation through individual or team supervision.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Plan, design and conduct a research study/systematic review/practice innovation project that has relevance for their area of practice
  2. Appraise and evaluate appropriate empirical and theoretical literature to support their chosen research study/systematic review/ practice innovation project.
  3. Conduct the research proposed and demonstrate coherence in their chosen research study/systematic review approach/ practice innovation project
  4. Justify all decisions/choices made at every stage of the research process.
  5. Present, discuss and evaluate their study findings within the context of their practice discipline and the existing literature.
  6. Outline an appropriate plan for dissemination of the findings from their research study/systematic review/practice innovation project
  • Research (100%)
The above information outlines module NU6505: "Dissertation" and is valid from 2018 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

Students who successfully complete this programme are eligible to apply to the Nursing and Midwifery Board (NMBI) to register as an Advanced Nurse Practitioner (RANPs).

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes


Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€6,000 p.a. 2018/19

Fees: Tuition

€5,776 p.a. 2018/19

Fees: Student levy

€224 p.a. 2018/19

Fees: Non EU

Find out More

Catherine Meagher,
Programme Director.
T: +353 91 492 829